Trading On Pain


Jonavan.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 2010.10.24
Location: EW - Healer's Passageway
Synopsis: Max confronts Jonavan and ends up making a deal with him.
Rating: PG13 - some language
Logger: Max

No Thread has fallen recently and dragons seem to all be healthy and hale, meaning that the infirmary weyr has been a quiet place the last few days and, by extension, the passage leading from it to the infirmary proper. As such, Jonavan's found it an excellent place to hide when he doesn't want to be bothered. He's even commandeered a chair and mostly blocks off the passage, parking under a glow so there's light to read by, which is just what he's doing.

Jonavan is hiding with the hopes of not being bothered? Aw shucks, what a pity. For here comes bother itself in the form of one beast manager. While he might not have thought to look here in particular for the Healer, it helps to have eyes and ears about the place that can point one in the right direction. Max doesn’t bother to try and muffle the sound of his approach, hat still firmly in place despite being indoors and hands in pockets, his stride is more that of a saunter than a purposeful stride. There being intent in that chosen approach. And thus he comes to a halt, just outside of the Healer’s little circle of reading light with a taunting smirk to his tone, “Slow day?”

Jonavan hides a lot rather than bother with ordinary cuts and burns. Reading something he considers valuable rather than whiling away his time with attention to the basics suits Jonavan just fine; it is with definite reluctance that he raises his eyes to meet Max. "I wouldn't say that," is his casual response to Max's inquiry. "I'm sure that the apprentices are getting plenty of practice while I do more important things. Did you lose a runner or have you come seeking bubbly-retribution?"

Brows go up as part of a sardonic expression, with Max folding his arms across his chest. Uttering a soft snort, “Aye, like selling black market fellis to weyrlings.” This to Jonavan doing more important things with his time. Straight to the point with the beast manager dismissing the perceived stabs at riling him up.

Well. Jonavan considers lowering what he's reading in order to give Max his proper attention but decides against it. Instead, he answers at his leisure, eyes still skimming the text and affording it more importance than the beast manager and the chip on his shoulder. "Did no such thing. It never left the infirmary."

Max could care less whether he has the Healer’s eyes on him or not. With a slow intake of breath he delivers in an even tone, “Aye, not that time.” Still remaining just outside of the circle of light, a slow and cunning smile might go unseen, “So you and Jaya, huh?” Making a calculated assumption as he completely flips the subject around, “You dosing her too?” Or maybe not on the subject change.

It proves difficult to provoke Jonavan past minor inconvenience, who mainly looks bored with the continuing interruption and like he'd like to keep reading without Max's presence. He lifts his gaze to communicate that boredom to the beast manager and asks, "I'm sure she can take care of herself, though it seems like her style is more to pull a knife on someone. Does this have a point?"

It’s more the fact that Jonavan is evading directly answering his questions that irritates more than his lack of rising to any bait does. For now. Taking a step into that circle of light now, the brim of Max’s hat casting deep shadows across his face, “Aye, it’s got a point alright. The point is, I know what you’re doing.” That being the Healer’s dealing in black market fellis. All pretences cast aside except for that smile, however feigned it might be, “But I ain’t gonna turn you in.” not expecting the man to fall on his knees and profess undying gratitude, “Not yet.” His unseen gaze casts a hard look over the still seated man, “You don’t like me,” having drawn that conclusion from their last encounter, “the feeling’s mutual. But the way I figure it, we can either waste our time snapping and snarling at each other. Or we can find a way to both get what we want.”

"I appreciate the sentiment, though might I point out that you haven't got anything to turn me in for." Jonavan is not particularly impressed with the threat, but it hardly diminishes his arrogance. He does at last give Max the time of day, letting the papers fall to his lap and arms now crossing loosely over his chest. "Alright then, I'll play along; what exactly is it that you want?"

Smirking openly now, “That you know of.” Not about to put Jonavan in awareness of the eyes placed in the infirmary, even if they are still on a somewhat temporary basis and as such not always there on a daily basis. Coming neither closer nor stepping back out of the light a brow goes up as to what it is Max wants in return, “I’ll let you know when I need it.” Leaving his options open. “Suffice it to say that my…line of work…sometimes requires medical supplies best not requisitioned through the usual channels.”

"So, let me get this straight." Jonavan puts forward his response with meditative calm, his regard on Max unwavering now that he's finally deigned to look at him. "You try to threaten me, and then expect me to help you once you've established that I have no reason to trust you. See, if you had left off the first bit, I imagine I would be a lot more willing to provide a backdoor channel if I thought your line of work indeed required it. Now, not so much."

That smirk turns into a show of amusement, “Threaten you?” and then laughter, “You’ve obviously not received many threats, Healer.” Not from him anyway. Taking a slow survey of the immediate area as if he were bored, or even perhaps giving Jonavan’s words thought, and then dark eyes swing back onto the seated man, “I simply apprised you that I know of your, shall we say, extra mural activities. A threat…” taking a half step closer, “would be having the Weyrleader waiting right around the corner. No,” with a smile peeling out, “this is more a trade, if you will. My silence and contacts…for your help, when and if needed.” Because running the beast caverns can be oh so very dangerous and provide so many contacts, right?

"Yes, that one wouldn't be half-bad," Jonavan muses on the merits of Max's example. Other than that he doesn't immediately respond to the beast manager's proposition, studying him instead as if that will offer some clue as to motives or sincerity. The healer finally breaks his scrutiny with an abrupt remark that sounds like a decision. "Well, what you're suggesting is far more interesting than most of what goes on day to day."

Just the faintest note of triumph traces into Max’s expression as Jonavan appears to take the bait laid out for him, “Good, then we have an accord.” Shifting into a more relaxed pose of setting his hands to his pockets, “Aside from fellis, I’ll need to what other medical supplies you’re able to get your hands on so that I can better…market your services. Also,” a finger lifting, “I’ll need to take a five percent cut in order to pay the peddler that will have to be put in place.” And if it had just come to him, “Oh, and the green weyrling whose life you put at risk by leading her to believe you’d gone to Jaya? You know, the pretty one you refused to sell the fellis too that is now wearing a bandage wrapped about her arm and another down her chest? Stay the fuck away from her. I’ll decide what she does and doesn’t know as well as how and where she fits into things.” Marking his territory much?

Jonavan nods to the conditions set and, after a pause, notes, "I'll write you up a list." Which won't include anything he considers dangerous or toxic if used improperly; he's only willing to do so much for his own gain. "And then perhaps you'll better explain just why you need medical supplies. If that's what you're wanting, it would useful to know why - in order to put together the 'what.'" The Healer then continues without much of a change to his expression, "I'm sorry. I wasn't aware that you owned a weyrling."

Max sets the Healer with a long and considering look, silent. Then he slowly inhales, exhaling as if having reached a decision, "Ever heard of the underground fighting circuits? They're…not looked upon very favorably," hence the underground bit, "and the men…they don't always get what they need after." Making him sound like some kind of humanitarian, which to his credit, he is trying to get the participants what they need. However, there are indeed ulterior motives at play, "I need eyes and ears back on the circuits," back on them? So much for him being a simple beast manager. "Reckon someone peddling medical packs is likely to come under suspicion than most." Jonavan wanted trust? He just got a whole sharding dragonload of it. As to the weyrling comment, the beast manager snorts with amusement, "She's her own woman. She's just new at…" dealing with the whole sordid underbelly of Pern society.

Jonavan does not look entirely convinced by what he sees as Max's backpeddling from his first, more possessive comment regarding Ahnika. "How good it must be for her to know that you look after her interests." The suggestion being, of course, that Max's 'looking after' is closer aligned to sheltering, which hardly corresponds to viewing the weyrling as her own woman. The healer stands, signaling that he considers this discussion closed, and concludes, "Well, it all sounds like a worthy cause." The tone is characteristically dry, and it's nearly impossible to tell if he's being sarcastic or not.

Backpeddling? Hardly. Looking after her interests? Definitely. As demonstrated in his next. A brow goes up and Jonavan is set with a narrowed look, “How about you take care of the medical side of things and I’ll take care of the rest, aye?” In other words, the Healer is heading toward crossing a line with him. As the other man stands, Max simply watches him in silence neither agreeing with nor correcting his last comment other than to state in pointed tone, “This conversation, never happened outside of ourselves. I take it that a man with such…extra murals,” that said with a hint of distaste to it, “as yourself, understands the need for discretion in such matters.”

It might as well be a red flag to a bull. Jonavan just smiles though, for now, and gives Max a look rife with incredulity that the beast manager thinks himself -and his morals- better than Jonavan. "Oh aye," he says in deliberate, likely mocking echo of the other man. "Hey, you're the one who wants in on fighting rings. As for me, it's just an extension of my craft. Helping the helpless. Et cetera." He grips the back of his chair and swings it around, prepared to drag it back to the infirmary. "I'll get you that list."

All that mockery of his speech patterns earns Jonavan, is a look. Just as well neither man has been drinking or else the fight rings might just have found themselves with a new set of contenders going up against each other. A grunt greets Jonavan’s quip over helping the helpless, and a muttered, “Aye, you keep telling yourself that.” Not convinced. Nodding to the Healer getting him the list, a polite smile pulls into place, “Just as soon as pleases you.” And with that he’ll tip two fingers to his temple in mock salute, turn on his heel and disappear back down the darkened passage way.

Closing Credit Music: Prime Circle - What I've Become

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